Suprawee Asanasak is a Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Thammasat University where she teaches jurisprudence and civil law. Before joining the Faculty, she obtained her LLB in Politics, Philosophy and Law from King’s College London and LLM from Duke University. While at Duke, she was a staff editor for the Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law. Her research interests include interdisciplinary legal studies, comparative law and legal theories.
Transplanting Regular Impact Assessment in Thailand: A Curious Case of Perfunctory Effect and The Legal Culture of Method
Relying heavily on interviews with various stakeholders, this paper weaves together narratives on the legal transplant process of Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) law in Thailand. Inspired and pressed from international organizations, Thailand initially transplanted the OECD-recommended RIA checklist in 2003 and, by the end of 2017, RIA was added in the new Thai Constitution, carrying with it supreme legal authority. The unique changes in RIA's legal status and content reveal two interesting aspects of the legal transplant process. First, a legal transplant can create a perfunctory effect - the lull of formal acceptance of the transplanted law despite little interaction between the law and the recipient's legal and non-legal arrangements. Second, to alleviate the effect and allow the transplanted law to interact, assimilate, or even irritate its new soil, the legitimacy of the law needs to be generated. This paper asks whether comparative law can help to construct the globally-desired and locally-demanded legitimacy for the transplanted law, and whether the need for legitimacy would, in return, help to reconstruct the understanding of legal transplants in a modern context of a pluralistic legal system.